Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Boogie Down Productions: Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop [Jive, 1989]
KRS-One isn't just serious, he aspires to sainthood, and tough noogs if you think that makes him "boring" or "pretentious" or any of that racist, anti-intellectual cant--he comes so close that the whole of the record is greater than the minimalism of its blueprint stylee. Austerely sampled or all the way live, the music per se is almost hookless and swingless. But the dubwise skank of his natural groove carries his rhymes when the rhymes themselves don't capture the consciousness like a good hook should. Though I wish he didn't feel compelled to argue what color Moses was, his fundamental conceit--a peace harder than violence--is visionary. And when he takes no shit from the police, I say amen. B+